This article will be discussing the latest entry in the Mafia series. It may contain spoilers in some areas of the game.
Set in New Bordeaux, Louisiana (a fictional city based off New Orleans) around the late 1960’s, we follow the story of Lincoln Clay and the corpses he leaves behind in his wake for revenge. Running ripe with emotions that deals with not only direct effects of racism and mob oriented crimes, we also experience a riveting story about the betrayal of the Black Mob by the Marcano crime family.
System(s): Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
Developer(s): Hangar 13
Release Date: October 6, 2016
Price: $60 USD
Mafia III is the third installment within the open world action-adventure Mafia series. Following the similar third-person perspective we experienced with the 2 previous Mafias, we pursue the story of Lincoln Clay, a young Black male in a very racism heavy environment. His story begins as a young orphan that eventually is adopted by Sammy Robinson, Leader of the Black Mob. We watch as Lincoln grows into a man and eventually is enlisted during the Vietnam War. After his distinguished service as a Special Forces solider, he returns home to find trouble in paradise with the turf war between the Black Mob and the Haitians that unfortunately has left Sammy in debt to Sal Marcano (Don of the Marcano family). During a meeting with Lincoln and Sal, Lincoln is offered Sammy’s turf which ultimately is turned down and leads to the events of the Black Mob being dismantled by the Marcanos
With the core of the game focusing on gunplay the player is left with different approaches to the various missions and objectives that unlock with each turf. Using the cover based system that is traditional with third-person perspectives you can either use a stealth like manner or go loud..although the fire fights aren’t 100% fluid with controls they are quiet enjoyable.
The attention to detail within the environment is very inviting, and coupled with the destructible items spread out among the areas provide a sense of urgency while you are covering to regain your composure. The player is also encouraged to use hand to hand melee combat that can be quite brutal, ranging from a knife stab in the throat to swinging the butt of your rifle like a golf club to the enemy’s head.
The Player is tasked with taking over turf by completing missions and objectives that spans across 10 Districts, by any means necessary. Cops are working with the opposing mob, which tends to cause some intense fire fights. Not to mention civilans will report any crime you comit to the police, sometimes you really have to pay attention or it could go downhill fast. As you progress throughout the game you will unlock different assets and Associate that will offer assistance when you call in favors. Cassandra, Thomas Burke and a blast from the past, Vito Scalleta, will offer assistance such as shutting down phone lines, delivering cars to even calling in armed back up for when you’re in a tough spot (in respective order). In each section there are Junction Boxes that you can wire tap to unveil that area of the map, showing hidden items as well as enemies on your map. So how you decide to approach situations in the game is almost entirely up to you, even with the driving. You may not have many options gun wise for shooting while driving but you can individual target different parts of the opposing cars, which is simple once you figure it out. Once you over run a location you assign a lieutenant to operate it and the area around it. Eventually you will cause enough damage to the area to trigger the Underbosses, upon which you can either kill or recruit for a monetary boost to that particular Racketeer.
A lot of complaints seem to be about the graphics being 30 FPS (frames per second) and undefined graphics in different areas of the game. Unfortunately those problems were universal but more consistent for Xbox One and Pc users. I will agree there we many issues with graphics, from the weather cycle being atrocious at times (the shadowing effect from the overcast was a joke and even the Day/Night cycle was rudimentary) the review mirror of the car exhibiting graphics similar to that of PS2 standard, to some of the most bizarre frame crashes I experienced. At one point I was whistling for a Sentry so I could do a silent execution on him and next thing I know my game starts crashing and then a car out of no where coming barreling down and explodes in the wall alerting the whole base. Another bug that comes to mind was at several points the prompt triggers in-game play that continue the story would not trigger and forced me to reset the game and replay to continue. In some areas of the game the graphics were breathtaking, I have literally never seen more realistic looking teeth in a game then in Mafia III, but even in some of the cutscenes the graphics weren’t completely on par with how the rest of the scene was presented.
Then again in different parts of the actual game play the graphics combined with the soundtrack seemed a perfect fit. The way it all flowed together even made some of the extremely tedious and monotonous flows of the game seem somewhat dare I say, playable? Don’t get me wrong while the different districts provided a fresher face lift to the enemies and in areas the scenery, ultimately the Player was tasked to either rob operations, destroy operations, kill, interrogate, follow to drain enough money to grab the attention of someone of importance with that Districts chain of command.The attention to small things such as walking in wet grass or the sounds of shutting your car door,but ultimately it seemed this lacked a decent amount of attention when compared to Mafia II. This game really just entails causing enough mayhem to eventually kill or recruit mobsters going up the totem pole until you get deep with Marcanos family. The story that is outlined by the narration presented by Detectives is interestingly in-depth and somewhat draws you in, enough until the repetitiveness of the missions and objectives that follows drowns you out.
Final Judgment- 70%
Mafia III left me rather conflicted. Coupled with an outstanding OST, and by outstanding I truly will be disappointed if this doesn’t earn Soundtrack of the Year, but also the gritty rawness of the Late 60’s. Sparing no hindrance to censorship, we experience an idea of what racism was like for a Black person during that time frame. The ability to call your gun van (a mobile armory) in the heat of battle or whenever was a convience I was glad was avaible. Depositing your cash although took some time and that became so tedious I rather take my chance dying and losing half my cash then drive back and forth. Eventually you unlock a driver to come and not only pick your money up but after some progress will also pick up kick backs from Rackateers for you. So roughly around halfway through the game it starts getting enjoyable. The fact it takes 3 fuses to unlock a Junction Box and that there are several in a District (89 all together ACROSS 10 DISTRICTS) made me resent even trying to 100% this game. The Collectibles though I have no idea what they unlock, simply did nothing for me in game. Once you figure out a good method of playing it because almost robototic running through. I was using the Zemi Dolls to draw everyone to a tight area then launching some grenades at them and just wiping the floor with people The first few hours of the game were seductive, it was hard to put the controller down but after a longer session it eventaully became a drag. A great story with the atmosphere of the 60’s and the OST to compliment it was the biggest selling point of this game I felt.
- An outstanding OST with around 100 individual tracks
- In depth character models and environments
- Great Story
- Excellent Antagonist
- Realistic feeling when driving
- Repetitive and tedious Missions
- Obnixous Day/Night and Weather Cycle at times
- Frame rate and rendering issues
- Although waves of enenmies differed, their patterns of battle did not
- No Save points, made it very unclear when the game autosaved and when it did not